Frauds and Scams

Financial Capability

Fraud Hurts

Fraud Hurts

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Fraud Hurts is the first film to be made by two fraud-fighting agencies telling victims’ stories. Produced by CFFC in association with the Serious Fraud Office, it premiered at the International Fraud Film Festival on November 14, 2019, as part of a free public session to promote fraud awareness.

Knowledge is power

Become a real-life superhero by arming yourself with the information you need to fight fraud and keep yourself, your family and your money safe.

You work hard for your money. You want to spend it on things that matter to you – whether it’s your children’s education, an exciting trip or a new phone.

Fraudsters are real. They are out there every day looking for victims. They will target you online, over the phone, by mail or in person.

You’re a target. Thousands of New Zealanders lose millions of dollars to fraudsters every year. The impact of fraud on families and businesses can be devastating. 

Report it! Anyone can be targeted, from teenagers to grandparents, to senior corporate officers. The best thing you can do is to report the fraud, whatever the amount, to the appropriate authorities. Don’t be embarrassed – you're helping prevent others being caught in the same trap.

Why are frauds and scams a problem?

Research NZ states 72% of New Zealanders have been the target of some kind of scam, either online or by telephone.

Netsafe announced $10 million in scam losses in 2017. That figure was eclipsed by the end of the first quarter of 2018 – $12.5 million had already been reported scammed from New Zealanders' bank accounts. Scams are increasing in number and sophistication, run as businesses by cartels who funnel money overseas to fund organised crime. 

The scammers are smart and unregulated – if one scam or tactic doesn't work, they simply change the game plan or set new rules.

Who is vulnerable?

Anyone is vulnerable to a scam; if you think it could never happen to you – sadly you are mistaken. Some of you may have already been a victim of a scam and not even realised.

The trouble is there are so many different types of scams, and they all target people in different ways. They are becoming more sophisticated, so it's difficult to determine a genuine approach from the fake.

We have produced The Little Black Book of Scams to arm people with knowledge of typical scam MOs, tips on how to recognise them, how to avoid them and what to do if you have fallen for one of them.

Scammers' tactics

Watch out! Scammers will use these tactics to get you to hand over your hard-earned money:

  1. PHANTOM RICHES – "You'll make a lot of money from this opportunity."
  2. SOURCE CREDIBILITY – "You can trust me."
  3. SOCIAL CONSENSUS – "Everyone is doing it."
  4. SCARCITY – "Hurry, time is running out."
  5. COMPARISON – "You're getting a really good deal."
  6. FRIENDSHIP – "Do this for me as your friend."

Free printed copies of The Little Black Book of Scams are also available to order on SortedPlease note: Due to coronavirus, booklets are only available in digital format at the moment. We apologise for any inconvenience.

  • Being a confident consumer

    Find out what to know and do when purchasing a product or service in NZ.

    Consumer Protection 
    0508 4 CONSUMER (0508 426 678)

  • Learning more about scams

    How to recognise, avoid and take action against scams, protect personal information, and prevent identity theft both online and offine.


  • Avoiding investment scams

    How to spot scam warning signs, deal with problems and find out if the investment provider is registered.

    Financial Markets Authority
    0800 434 567

  • Staying safe online or reporting a scam

    Netsafe is NZ's independent, non-profit online safety expert.

    0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)

  • Reporting a cyber security problem

    CERT NZ is your first port of call when you need to report a cyber security problem. They support businesses, organisations and individuals affected by cyber security incidents.

    0800 CERT NZ (0800 2378 69)

  • Older parents or friends being scammed

    The Ministry of Social Development funds a 24/7 helpline that can refer people to a regional elder abuse service provider: 0800 32 668 65, Text 5032, or email

    The Office for Seniors also has information and resources available on its website 

    Age Concern New Zealand provides free confidential advice and support for older people and their families who have been scammed or financially abused. 

    They can also help you connect with social groups and activities near you.

  • Someone stealing your identity

    IDCare is Australia and NZ's national identity and cyber support service. They help individuals reduce the harm from compromise and misuse of their identity information.


  • Receiving spam

    Report spam to DIA, so they can investigate and take action where necessary.

    Text Mobile SPAM to 7726